The Buzz on Bees

July 20, 2017
Busy Little Bee

This busy bee was working hard pollinating my garden. Thanks little fella!

Shelli Merrifield

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Bees are pretty remarkable creatures—and not just because of their pollinating skills. The Old Farmer’s Almanac for Kids shares some un-bee-lievable facts about this buzzing insect.

The Buzz on Bees

1. Life without honeybees:
Many farmers and gardeners would not have a harvest with bees. These busy harvesters transfer pollen from flower to flower, or pollinate, which helps fruits and vegetables to form.

2. Bee-ginnings:
a. The Latin word for “bee” is APIS.
b. Beekeeping is called APICULTURE.
c. A beekeeper is an APIARIST.
d. A collection of beehives is an APIARY.

3. A few things about stings:
a. A worker bee can sting once. It dies soon thereafter.
b. A drone has no stinger.
c. A queen honeybee can sting repeatedly.
4. A healthy beehive can produce 45 to 100 pounds of honey per year—often more than the bees need to survive.

Bee-lieve it or not …
On June 14, 2004, a tractor-trailer overturned on a highway in Bear Trap Canyon, Montana, spilling its load of hundreds of beehives and unleashing some 9 million angry honeybees. Yikes!

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This new corner of will feature news, information, and cool stuff from The Old Farmer’s Almanac and its family of publications.

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Bees and PETA

someone who is a vegan and a member of PETA, told us that bees are being exploited by agriculture that does something with Karo Syrup to force the bees to produce more than normal. Is this a fact, or is it a myth? We love honey and honey products and find this hard to believe.

bees and sugar

The Editors's picture

After doing a little research, from what I understand, the idea appears to be, at least originally, not so much to keep the bees producing, but to keep the hive alive and healthy during a shortage of natural food. Bees need carbohydrates for energy. They can get this from nectar and other natural sources. If sources aren’t available, such as due to weather conditions or if a beekeeper has removed too much of the bees’ food supply (honey), then the beekeeper needs to provide supplemental nutrition. One way to do this is by offering certain types of sugar solutions, including a plain white sugar solution (many recipes available) or a high fructose corn syrup. Beekeepers need to be careful, however, because some commercial syrup solutions contain ingredients that are toxic to bees. High fructose corn syrup, too, if heated (such as sitting in tanks on a hot day) can form a chemical (HMF) that is not good for bees. Also, in general, some sources indicate that it isn’t healthy for bees to rely too much on sugar syrup as supplemental food. Karo syrup is corn syrup, which according to their site, is different from high fructose corn syrup. Karo light corn syrup contains vanilla and salt, which one source says are not good to feed to bees. Many sources seem to agree that the safest sugar syrup to feed bees is plain white cane sugar, mixed with a little water. (Do not use raw, brown, or confectioners’ sugar.) Hope this helps!


When to buy bees for Pioneer tn area

bees for pollination

It depends what kind of bees you’d like.  We recommend exploring Crown Bees company:


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